NFVF opens call for Oscars Foreign Language Film category

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, is extending a call to all South African producers to submit their films for entry into the 91st Annual Academy Awards (Oscars). The Academy has opened a call for entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Award, inviting South Africans to submit their feature films for consideration.

A foreign language film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (defined as over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track. Animated and documentary feature films are permitted.

The closing date for submissions is 29 August 2018. The South African Academy Selection Committee will choose one film as the country’s official submission for the Foreign Language Film Award. A foreign language film is defined as a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.

To be eligible for entry  

  1. The motion picture must be first released in the country submitting it no earlier than 1 October 2017 and no later than 30 September 2018. The film must have beeen first publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for the profit of the producer and exhibitor.
  2. The film must be advertised and exploited during its theatrical release in a manner considered normal and customary to theatrical feature distribution practices. The film need not have been released in the United States.
  3. Films that, in any version, receive a non-theatrical public exhibition or distribution before their first qualifying theatrical release will not be eligible for Academy Awards consideration. Non-theatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to:
  • Broadcast and cable television
  • DVD distribution
  • Internet transmission
  1. The recording of the original dialogue track as well as the completed picture must be predominantly in a language or languages other than English. Accurate, legible English-language subtitles are required.
  2. The creative control of the motion picture must largely be in the hands of citizens or residents of South Africa.
  3. The Foreign Language Film Award executive committee shall resolve all questions of eligibility and rules.
  4. The South African Academy Selection Committee under the patronage of the NFVF will select the South African film to be entered for consideration. Entries should therefore be hand delivered to the NFVF not later than 29 August 2018 at 16h00. The qualifying film from this initial judging phase will go forth to represent South Africa in the Academy’s initial nomination phase for Best Foreign Language film.

Foreign Language Film Award guidelines:

The Academy uses the following guidelines to determine a film’s eligibility in the Foreign Language Award category:

  1. Citizens or permanent residents of the submitting country should be represented in at least two of these categories:  a. Producer(s) b. Director(s) c. Writer(s)
  2. Citizens or permanent residents of the submitting country should be represented in the majority in these categories:  a. Cinematographer b. Editor c. Art Director or Production Designer (whichever title designates the senior designer) d. Costume Designer e. Music Composer f. Sound Mixer
  3. Citizens or permanent residents of the submitting country should be significantly represented among the major roles in the cast.


Only one film will be submitted from South Africa as the official selection for Best Foreign Language Film. The NFVF is the only institution in the country that is eligible to make a submission for this category.

The following submission materials must be submitted:

  1. Submissions must be in 35mm or 70mm film, or in a 24- or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format with a minimum projector resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels, source image format conforming to ST 428- 1:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Image Characteristics; image compression (if used) conforming to ISO/IEC 15444-1 (JPEG 2000), and image and sound files packaged as Digital Cinema Packages (DCPs) in either “Interop” or “SMPTE DCP” formats. SMPTE DCP refers to SMPTE ST429-2 and related specifications. Blu-ray format does not meet Digital Cinema requirements.

The audio in a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) is typically 5.1 or 7.1 channels of discrete audio. The minimum for a non-mono configuration of the audio shall be three channels as Left, Center, Right (a Left/Right configuration is not acceptable in a theatrical environment).

The audio data shall be formatted in conformance with ST 428-2:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Audio Characteristics and ST 428-3:2006 D-Cinema Distribution Master – Audio Channel Mapping and Channel Labeling.

The print or Digital Cinema Package (DCP) submitted for Awards consideration must be identical in content and length to the print or copy used in the film’s theatrical release.

  1. Complete production credits as they appear on screen, in English
  2. Brief English-language synopsis of the film
  3. Director’s biography, filmography and photograph
  4. Three to five representative stills from the film
  5. Film poster from the theatrical release (600 dpi tif format, RGB color mode or 40″ x 27″)
  6. Published advertisements verifying the seven-day theatrical run

*Stills, poster, advertisements and print/DCP must be from the film’s original release in the submitting country.

Additional information:

The official film submitted will be retained by the Academy throughout the voting process. By submitting a film, the filmmaker agrees that the Academy has the right to make copies and distribute them for voting purposes only. The Academy will retain for its archives one print of every motion picture receiving a nomination for the Foreign Language Film award. Additional prints of those films receiving nominations will be returned to the sender at the Academy’s expense.

Advertising and publicity restrictions:

In addition to complying with the Awards Rules for the 91st Oscars, all participants in the Awards competition are also bound by the Academy Campaign Regulations concerning the promotion of eligible films and are subject to the penalties provided therein, including the potential declaration of ineligibility by the Board of Governors for violation of those guidelines. The Regulations can be found at

Eligibility in other categories:

Eligible submissions for Foreign Language Film award consideration may also qualify for the 91st Academy Awards in other categories provided they comply with the rules governing those categories.

Films nominated for the Foreign Language Film award are not eligible for Academy Awards consideration in any category in any subsequent Awards this year. Submitted films that are not nominated for the Foreign Language Film award are eligible for Awards consideration in other categories in the subsequent year, provided they comply with the rules governing those categories.

The National Film and Video Foundation is officially recognised by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to make submissions on behalf of the South African Film industry.

Eligible films should be sent no later than 29 August 2018 at 16h00 for attention to:

The South African Academy Awards Selection Committee, C/o Xolelwa Nomgca, National Film and Video Foundation, 87 Central Street Houghton, 2198


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